What did the Founders think the Origination Clause meant?

May 01, 2014 | By TIMOTHY SANDEFUR

Priscilla Zotti and Nicholas Schmitz’s new article, The Origination Clause: Meaning, Precedent, and Theory from the 12th Century to the 21st Century, in the latest issue of the British Journal of American Legal Studies, has been posted online. Click here to download the issue and flip forward to page 71.

Zotti and Schmitz present a thorough examination of the constitutional provision that’s at issue in our Obamacare lawsuit, showing how the Founders’ decision to allow only the House of Representatives to generate revenue bills had its roots in long-standing British practice as well as in the state constitutions of their own day. And it shows that the Framers would never have countenanced the idea that the Senate can “amend” a House bill by gutting its entire contents and replacing it with a bill for raising revenue that the Senate originates. That, of course, is just the sort of “shell bill” game that the Senate used when it enacted the Affordable Care Act.

Mr. Schmitz joined our own Todd Gaziano in testifying to Congress about the Origination Clause earlier this week.